A NEW site has been proposed for a Coastwatch lookout – over the top of an ice-cream kiosk.
A planning application has been lodged to build the lookout and terrace at first floor level over the kiosk and shelters in West Bay.
A previous application for a lookout for the National Coastwatch Institution on the east pier failed because the structure is listed.
Now Lyme Bay NCI station manager Clive Edwards says he hopes the project will go ahead as the new scheme is the only viable site.
The current temporary lookout at Burton Cliff at Burton Bradstock is not ideal and does not have a clear viewpoint to the west for the approaches to West Bay and Lyme Regis harbours.
The new West Bay structure would sit independently on a steel frame and columns over the top of the kiosk and shelters, with the wooden clad lookout on the western end and a balustraded terrace across the remainder. Mr Edwards said the plan would give the Coastwatch volunteers what they needed and added that he hoped the local community would support the scheme.
“It is as environmentally sensitive as it can be. We all have an interest in preserving the place,” he said. There are now no alternative sites – cliffs are crumbling near the car park site at Eype, one site we considered.
“Without a lookout there would be no coverage from the point of view of a lookout for small boat operations.
“This is a huge area of the Jurassic coast which is unguarded and this applies to cliff walkers and beach users too.”
Mr Edwards added the likely cost would be between £20,000 and £25,000, which could be raised by public subscription.
Bridport Town Council plans committee will consider the application on October 29.